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  • A level

    General Certificate of education Advance level-usually completed by some 16-18 year olds after GCSE

  • AB

    Awarding Body.

  • ABG

    Area Based Grant

  • Academy

    Academies are publicly funded independent schools. Academies have different governance arrangements from other schools.

  • Academy Committee

    A committee of the trust board in a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). The role and responsibility of any committee is defined in the MAT’s scheme of delegation.

  • Academy converter

    A school which converted to academy status voluntarily (usually high performing at the time of conversion), having previously been a local authority maintained school.

  • Academy sponsor led

    A school which converted to academy status with the support of a sponsor (usually lower performing at the time of conversion)

  • ACAS

    Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service – Public body dealing with employment relations.  See for more information.

  • ACE

    Advisory Centre for Education is an independent charity providing an advisory service to parents.  See

  • ACL

    Adult Learning –

  • ACS

    Average Class Size

  • ACs

    Area coordinators

  • Act

    Part of the work of Parliament is to make laws. These are called Acts. Usually the House of Commons and the House of Lords debate proposals for new laws. At this stage they are called Bills. If both Houses vote for the proposals then the Bill is ready to become an Act. It can only be described as an Act when it has received Royal Assent.

  • Action Plan

    A school’s response to the report of its inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED), which must be produced within 40 days.  This is specific to Ofsted. GBs may find other Action Plans equally useful.

  • AD(H)D

    Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder

  • Admissions Authority

    Schools which handle their own pupil applications are admission authorities. They send out information about the school and pupil application forms, giving a deadline for receipt. Local Authorities are also admission authorities as they are responsible for admissions to community and voluntary-controlled schools.

  • Admissions Code

    A document providing statutory guidance on schools admission with which all schools must comply.

  • Admissions Register

    Register of the details of pupils in alphabetical order.

  • Advanced GNVQ

    Advanced General National Vocational Qualification This is similar to BTEC and the equivalent of 2 A levels. The subjects offered have a vocational element such as childhood studies.  GNVQs were phased out between 2005 and 2007. As an alternative, students can choose from a wide range of vocational qualifications – such as BTECs, OCR Nationals, and GCSEs and GCEs in applied subjects. There are also new vocational qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

  • AEN

    Additional Education Needs

  • AFL

    Assessment for learning

  • Agreed Syllabus

    A non-denominational syllabus of religious education, locally determined and legally binding on LA and controlled schools as required by the Education Reform Act 1988.

  • AHT

    Assistant Head Teachers

  • Alis

    The Advanced Level Information System – provides performance indicators for post-16 students across all sectors of education and includes analysis of A level, AS level, Advanced GNVQ exams and now AVCEs. Alis is the original member of the family of value-added monitoring systems run at the Curriculum, Evaluation and Management Centre (CEM Centre) at Durham University.

  • ALS

    Additional Literacy Support

  • AMP

    Asset Management Plan.   With changes to the distribution of Devolved Formula Capital from 2011, it is vital that the condition element of the AMP is regularly reviewed and updated.

  • AOC

    Association of Colleagues

  • AoC

    Association of Colleges – The AoC represents general Further Education (FE)colleges, sixth form colleges and specialist colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some 98% of colleges are in Association of Colleges membership.   FE and Sixth Form Colleges in England serve more 16-18 year olds than schools, (600,000 compared with 400,000) and over twice as many adults as universities (3.5 million adult learners in FE).  See

  • AP

    Area Prospectus

  • APA

    Annual Performance Assessment

  • APP

    Assessing Pupil Progress

  • Appraisal

    The process of assessing how well a member of staff is carrying out his or her job.

  • Approved Educational Activity

    An activity that takes place outside the school premises and that has been approved by a person authorized to do so by the proprietor of the school. The activity is of an educational nature, including work experience, and is supervised by a person authorized in that behalf by the proprietor of the school.

  • APS

    Average Points Score.  See Interpreting KS1-3 average points scores for further information.

  • APTC

    Admin, Professional, Technical and Clerical graded employees.

  • Articles of Association

    The Articles of Association is the formal governing document for an academy an sets out its rules for operating, including the composition of the governing board.

  • AS

    Asperger’s Syndrome

  • ASB

    Aggregated Schools Budget; the total amount delegated to Governing Bodies through a formula.

  • ASCL

    Association of School and College Leaders – a headteacher union

  • ASD

    Autistic Spectrum Disorder

  • ASP

    Analyse school performance – a new service, providing schools and other existing user groups with detailed performance analysis to support local school improvement as a replacement to RAISEonline

  • Assessment without levels

    A common phrase to describe changes to the primary curriculum. Grade descriptions and levels have now been removed from the national curriculum and it is up to primary schools to decided how they track pupil progress and attainment. Children will still sit SATs exams in KS1 and KS2 as a national benchmark, however they will no longer be given a grade. Instead, they will be given a scaled score, with a score of 100 or above showing that a pupil has met national expectations.

  • Associate members

    Individuals appointed by the governing body of a maintained school. They are not part of the governing body, but are allowed to attend meetings and sit on committees and can be given voting powers. They are appointed for 1-4 years, with the opportunity for re-appointment. An associate member could be a pupil, member of staff or someone with expertise in a particular area. Academies’ Articles of Association allow them to appoint non-governors to committees and give them voting rights.

  • AST

    Advanced Skills Teachers

  • ATL

    Association of Teachers and Lecturers – a union for education professionals

  • Attainment 8

    A headline measure of school performance at GCSE introduced from 2016. Measures the achievement of a pupil across English, Maths and six further qualifications (three of which must count in the EBacc measure)

  • Attainment targets

    These establish what children of different abilities should be expected to know and be able to do by the end of each key stage of the national curriculum

  • Attendance Register

    A register is called at the beginning of the morning session and once during the afternoon. It must contain the names of all pupils that attend school.

  • Attendance Targets

    The Governing Body is required to agree with the LA attendance targets for reducing authorised absence (where the absence of a pupil has been agreed by the person authorised in that behalf by the proprietor of the school, and unauthorised absences (where no permission for absence has been given) from school.

  • Audit Commission

    An independent body set up by the Government to monitor the use of funds by LAs and certain other bodies.

  • AVMS

    Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service

  • AWPU

    Age Weighted Pupil Unit, the sum of money allocated to the school for each pupil according to age.  This is the basic unit of funding for the school

  • Baseline Assessment

    Assessment of puplis’ attainment on entry to year 1 – it is not statutory, but many local authorities encourage schools to carry it out. Schools may now decide to conduct baseline assessments in reception, but again this is not a statutory requirement.

  • Basic Skills

    Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

  • BCC

    British Chambers of Commerce


    British Educational Communications and Technology Agency was a partner in the strategic development and delivery of its information and communications technology (ICT) and e-learning. BECTA no longer functions having been closed down on 31 March 2011.

  • BEd

    Batchelor of Education.  A professional degree in education studies.

  • Behaviour Support Plan

    A statement that sets out the arrangements for schools and other service providers for the education of children with behavioural problems.

  • Benchmarking

    Comparing school expenditure with broadly similar schools from the LA, the region and nationally.

  • BES

    Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

  • BEST

    Behaviour and Education Support Team

  • Best Value

    A policy confirming that Governing Bodies will work to achieve economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

  • BIP

    Behaviour Improvement Programme

  • Broker

    Bringing together parties to negotiate and conclude an agreement.

  • BSA

    Basic Skills Agency was committed to funding, developing and disseminating good practice in literacy, language and numeracy.  Now closed.

  • BST

    Behaviour Support Team

  • Budget Share

    The total sum of money allocated to a school for the financial year by the LA.

  • Business Plan

    A formal appraisal of options which evaluates and demonstrates the most effective use of financial and human resources available.   It also considers the associated risks and the mitigation as well as legislative and regulatory compliance that will be required.

  • Buy Back

    Provision for schools to use part of their delegated budget to purchase services from the LA.

  • CAB

    Component Awarding Body

  • CAL

    Computer Assisted Learning


    Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

  • CAP

    Common Application Process

  • Capital expenditure

    Spending on projects and large items of equipment.

  • Capital funding

    Spending on projects, improvements, and extensions to the school’s land and buildings

  • Capitation allowance

    The part of the school’s annual budget allocated to spending on equipment and teaching materials.

  • CARE

    Christian Action Research and Education

  • Carry Forward

    Money left unspent at the end of the financial year that is carried forward to the school’s budget for the following year. These sums are “capped” at 5% of budget for Secondary Schools and 8% for Primary or Special Schools after taking into account money committed to specific projects.

  • CASE

    Campaign for State Education, tel.: 02089448206

  • CASS

    Collaborative Arrangements for Small Schools

  • Casting Vote

    An additional vote to be used by the Chair of Governors if an equal number of votes is cast for and against a motion.

  • CATs

    Cognitive Ability Tests

  • CEG

    Careers Education and Guidance


    Careers Education Information, Advice and Guidance

  • CEL

    Centre for Excellence in Leadership

  • Chair’s Action

    In maintained schools the chair is allowed to take decisions without asking the governing body if a delay will be detrimental to the school, a member of staff, a pupil or a parent. In academies, this power is not automatic and must be delegated to the chair

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

    The lead professional and head of the executive branch for a group of academies know as a multi-academy trust (MAT). Although not being a headteacher in any school,they will be ultimately accountable for the governing board for all aspects of the MAT as a whole

  • Children’s Centres

    Sure Start Children’s Centres are “places where children under 5 years old and their families can receive seamless holistic integrated services and information. And where they can access help from multi-disciplinary teams of professionals.”

  • CiC

    Children in Care

  • CIG

    Curriculum Innovation Group

  • Circular

    A policy statement issued by the Government which does not have the status of law, but which gives guidance on interpretation and implementation of the law.

  • Clerk

    The Clerk is the ‘constitutional conscience’ of the governing board. They provide advice on governance, constitutional and procedural matters. They also offer administrative support to the governing board and relay information on legal requirements

  • Cluster

    An ad-hoc grouping of schools brought together for a shared purpose.

  • Co-opted governor/trustee

    Appointed by the governing board, generally on the basis of their skills

  • Coasting school

    A school or academy whose performance falls within the government’s coasting definition and is therefore eligible for intervention

  • Collaboration

    Where two or more Governing Bodies may arrange for any of their functions to be discharged jointly by holding joint meetings and/or having joint committees.

  • Collaboration

    An agreement between two or more schools to work together on one particular issue. They keep their individual governing boards, but may set up a joint committee to which they can delegate power

  • Commissioning

    A strategic approach using shared resources to design services to meet specific needs.

  • Community Governor

    A Governor representing community and local business chosen by members of the Governing Body and in whose opinion a person committed to the good government and success of the school.

  • Community Interest Company

    A company legally obliged to use its assets and profits for the benefit of the community.

  • Community Schools

    Maintained schools at which the Local Authority  (LA) is they employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria. The LA also take a proportion of income known as ‘top slice’ for the provision of central services such as HR, legal ect

  • Community Special Schools

    Maintained schools which make special educational provision for pupils with statements of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or education, health and care plans (EHCs), whose needs cannot be fully met from within mainstream provision. The LA is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria

  • Company Limited by Guarantee

    A company whose members’ liability will be restricted to the sum defined in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

  • Company Limited by Shares

    Members subscribe for shares.   Liability is restricted to the sum subscribed.

  • Competency framework for governance

    A document developed by the DfE, setting out the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for effective governance

  • Competitive tendering

    Obtaining quotes or tenders from alternative suppliers before awarding contracts

  • Complaints

    The day to day running of the school is the responsibility of the headteacher, the board of governors and the Local Authority (LA).  Every school should have a Complaints Procedure.  Generally, parents should initially put their concerns in writing to the headteacher of the school and then, concerns should be raised with the chair of the board of governors.  If they are unhappy with the response that they receive, they may then refer the complaint to the LA.  Should they remain dissatisfied with the LA’s response, the complaint may be raised with the Department for children, Schools and Families, setting out their concerns in full and enclosing all previous correspondence.  The address is: DCSF, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT.

  • Connexions

    A service that provides a single point of access for all 13 – 19 year olds to help them prepare for the transition to work and adult life.

  • Contingency Fund

    Money set aside for unexpected costs.

  • Contractual arrangements

    Where two or more parties agree in a formal contract how they will work together.   The agreement will set out how matters will be dealt with.  It should deal with roles, responsibilities and sanctions.   This term also applies to the conditions under which staff will be employed.

  • Core Subjects

    English, Maths and Science are the subjects that must be studied by all pupils at every Key Stage.


    Control of substances Hazardous to Health.

  • Coursework

    Work completed over a period of time which counts towards a final mark along with an end of course examination in the case of GCSE and regular tests in the case of GNVQ.

  • CPD

    Continuing Professional Development for school staff or the governing board

  • CQA

    Collaborative Quality Assurance

  • CRAC

    Careers Research and Advisory Council

  • CRB

    Criminal Records Bureau Currently (Aug 07) Governors do not require CRB checks to undertake their duties. A CRB check for Governors will be mandatory from September 2008.

  • CRE

    Commission for Racial Equality is now EHRC, Equality and Human Rights Commission.  See

  • CSG

    Consortia Support Grant

  • CSR

    Comprehensive Spending Review

  • CTC

    City Technology College: Independent all ability, non-fee paying schools for pupils aged 11 – 18. There are 4 CTCs and one CCTA (City College for the Technology of the Arts) in urban areas across England. CTCs teach the national curriculum to under-16-year-olds with a focus on science, mathematics and technology. They offer a wide range of vocational qualifications and part of their role is to innovate in the development, management and delivery of the curriculum.


    The Children’s Trust Local Planning and Implementation Partnership

  • Current Expenditure

    Spending on the day-to-day running of schools including staff costs, heating and lighting, consumables etc. Sometimes called recurrent expenditure.

  • Curriculum

    The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each school provides for its pupils. For maintained schools (except special schools established in a hospital) this includes the national curriculum, religious education (RE), collective worship, sex and relationship education (SRE) and careers education. The school curriculum has two aims:
    ●  To provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and achieve
    ●  To promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

  • CVA

    Contextual Value Added measures have been used in the Achievement and Attainment Tables (formerly Performance Tables) since 2002. They measure the attainment of pupils in comparison to pupils with similar prior attainment, and is fairer than using raw outcomes since schools can have very different levels of attainment on entry. In 2006 the following attainment and contextual factors were considered:
    ●  Pupil prior attainment
    ●  Gender
    ●  SEN
    ●  First language (for given prior attainment)
    ●  Measures of pupil mobility
    ●  Age
    ●  An “in care” indicator
    ●  Ethnicity
    ●  Free school meals (for given ethnicity)
    ●  Income deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI)
    ●  Average and range of prior attainment within the school (KS2-3, KS 2- 4 and KS 3 – 4 only).

  • CYPS

    Children and Young Peoples’ Service   Devon CYPS

  • DAG

    Devon Association of Governors

  • DAPH

    Devon Association of Primary Heads

  • DASH

    Devon Association of Secondary Heads

  • Day Nurseries

    These take children under five for the whole working day. Children can attend on a part-time or full-time basis according to their parents’ needs. They may be run by local authorities, voluntary organisations, private companies, individuals or employers. There must be at least one adult for every eight children and at least half of the staff must have a qualification recognised by the local authority.

  • DBE

    Diocesan Board of Education, whose purpose is to develop and promote best practices in church – aided schools.

  • DCC

    Devon County Council

  • DCS

    Devon Curriculum Services

  • DCSF

    Defunct – see DfE below.  Department for Children, Schools and Families (formerly DfES) and the central government department for a number of issues, including Education.  The name of the Department of Education and Science (DES) changed to the Department for Education (DFE) on 6 July 1992, then to the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) on 4 July 1995 and to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in June 2001. In June 2007, the DfES became the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

  • DDA

    Disability Discrimination Act

  • DDP

    Diploma Development Partnership

  • DEF

    Devon Education Forum (in other LAs known as Schools’ Forum)

  • Delegated Budget

    Money provided to schools which Governors can manage at their discretion.

  • Delegated Powers

    Authority given to a committee, an individual governor or the headteacher to take action on behalf of the governing board. In multi academy trusts this also refers to powers delegated to academy committees

  • Delegation

    A process where one body or person gives another body or person, authority to take decisions on a particular matter.

  • DES

    Disability Equality Scheme – Schools must publish their DES either as a separate document or as part of another document, such as the school improvement plan. It should be available on the school’s website or as a printed document in the school.  The progress made on the school’s DES must be reported on annually.

  • DES

    Devon Education Services, now known as Devon LDP, see

  • Designated area

    The geographical area served by a school. Children living in a school’s designated area will have a higher priority for a place.

  • Designated person

    Liaises with other services on behalf of young people in care and has responsibility for promoting their educational achievements

  • Designated Teacher

    An advocate who liaises with other services on behalf of young people in care.

  • Detailed arrangements funding

    This funding is allocated in recognition of the fact that most schools will have some pupils with low to medium level special educational needs. This is described more fully in the Devon Guidance Criteria for Statutory Assessment and Resource Allocation. It may be used to augment the exceptional arrangements funding for a student.

  • DfE

    Department for Education – the government department responsible for schools and children (formerly DCSF)

  • DHT

    Deputy Head Teacher

  • Differentiation

    The organisation of teaching programmes and methods specifically to suit the age, ability and aptitudes of individual children.

  • DIG

    Diploma Interest Group

  • Directed time

    Time when a teacher must be available to carry out duties, including attending staff and parent meetings, under the direction of the Head.  Maximum of 1265 hours in a school year.

  • Disapplication

    A term used where national curriculum requirements may not apply to a pupil

  • DIUS

    Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, now defunct.  In June 2009 it was merged into the newly formed Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

  • DLL

    Diploma Line Lead

  • DLP

    Dawlish Learning Partnership

  • Draft

    A provisional or tentative paper or motion put forward for consultation.

  • DSG

    Dedicated School Grant – Funding from central government to the LA, the majority of which is then delegated directly to individual schools through the LA’s funding formula

  • Dyslexia

    A learning difficulty of which the chief manifestation is a particular difficulty with reading and spelling. For more information go to:

  • Dyspraxia

    Generally recognised as an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. Associated with this may be problems of language, perception and thought – further information from the Dyspraxia Foundation.

  • E4L

    Exeter 4 Learnin

  • EAL

    English as an Additional Language.

  • Early Years and Childcare Service

    See for further information on the plan that explains what local early education and childcare services will be provided by the LA and includes a list of all local providers of free early education.

  • EAZ

    Education Action Zone was first established in 1998 and the aim was to establish 73 such zones across the country, based on a cluster of schools, usually in a local area. The aim of an EAZ is to develop, in conjunction with local partners, imaginative approaches to raising educational standards in seriously disadvantaged areas.

  • EBacc

    A school performance measure based on achievement of GCSEs in ‘core academic subjects’ of English, maths, history or geography, the sciences and a language

  • EBD

    Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

  • EBLO

    Education-Business Link Organisations


    Education Business Partnership Organisation

  • ECM

    Every Child Matters focuses on 5 positive outcomes for all children, namely:
    ● Be healthy
    ● Stay safe
    ● Enjoy and Achieve
    ● Make a positive contribution
    ● Achieve economic well-being.

  • EDP

    Education Development Plan

  • Edubase

    The up to date database of educational establishments across England and Wales –

  • Education Forum

    Established by the government as a consultative group including the National Governors’ Association (NGA), the local Government Association (LGA) and all the teaching and headteacher unions

  • EE

    Employer Engagement

  • EEF

    Education endowment foundation

  • EFA

    The Education Funding Agency will take over from YPLA on 1st April 2012 for the funding of young people’s education and training including academies.

  • EHC plans

    Education, health and care plans – the document which replaces statements of SEN ans Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs

  • EHRC

    Equality and Human Rights Commission. “Our job is to promote equality and human rights, and to create a fairer Britain. We do this by providing advice and guidance, working to implement an effective legislative framework and raising awareness of your rights.” See

  • EILP

    Electronic Individual Learning Plan

  • ELS

    Early Literacy Support for children in Year 1 who are not making expected progress in literacy

  • EMA

    Ethnic Minority Achievement

  • EP

    Education Psychologist and follow links to EP.

  • EPPA

    Effective Partnership with parents

  • ESFA

    Education and Skills Funding Agency – a single funding agency accountable for funding education and training for children, young people and adults (formerly the EFA and SFA)

  • ESO

    Education Supervision Order, which LAs may apply for to deal with cases of poor attendance at school

  • Ethos

    The morals,values and beliefs that do, or at least should, underpin the school culture

  • EWO

    Education Welfare Officer- a professional worker who visits pupils’ homes and deals with attendance problems and other welfare matters in co-operation with the school

  • Ex Officio

    Able to attend meetings by virtue of holding a particular office

  • Exceptional arrangements funding

    This is funding linked to an individual pupil’s needs as set out in a Statement of SEN. The wording in the statement links the funding to a staffing level but it can be used in any appropriate way to ensure the child’s needs (as identified in the Statement) are met.

  • Exclusion

    The temporary or permanent removal of a pupil from school for serious breaches of the school’s behaviour and discipline policy

  • Executive headteacher

    Unlike a traditional headteacher who leads one school only, an executive headteacher is the lead professional of more then one school: or a lead professional who manages a school with multiple phases: or who has management responsibly significantly beyond that of a single school site

  • Executive leaders

    Those held to account by the board for the performance of the organisation. This may be the CEO, executive headteacher, headteacher or principal, as well as other senior employees/staff, depending on the structure of the organisation

  • Extended Schools / Enrichment services

    A school that provides a range of services and activities often beyond the school day to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community.

  • EYFSP – Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

    Subsumes former Foundation Stage Profile in September 2008. It is designed, amongst other things, to provide practioners with reliable and accurate information about each child’s level of development at the end of the Foundation Stage.

  • Failing School

    One ruled by an Ofsted inspection team to be failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.

  • Fair Funding

    The term that describes the system of funding for schools introduced in April 1999, which sets the framework for the financial relationship between schools and LAs.

  • Fast track

    An opportunity for those seen as highly talented teachers to progress rapidly in their careers.

  • FE

    Further Education

  • Federation

    Two or more local authority maintained (or community) schools governed by one governing body

  • FFT

    Fischer Family Trust – a non-profit company that provides data and analyses to LAs and schools in England and Wales

  • Fidelity Guarantee

    Insurance to cover the theft of money by staff through fraud, etc.

  • FLIG

    Foundation Learning Implementation Group

  • FLIP

    Foundation Learning Implementation Plan

  • Floor

    Floor Standards are the minimum expected performance at KS2 and KS4 as set out by the government Education White Paper

  • FLT

    Foundation Learning Tier

  • FOI

    Freedom of Information

  • Form of Entry

    The number of classes of 30 children that a school admits each year

  • Formula Funding

    The method by which funds for school budgets are calculated. The most important factor is the number of pupils.

  • Foundation governor / trustee

    Appointed by the foundation board

  • Foundation Schools

    Maintained schools in which the governing body is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria

  • Foundation Special Schools

    Maintained special schools, which have the same freedoms as foundation schools

  • Foundation Stage

    Curriculum followed by children below statutory school age, in schools and nursery/pre-school provision

  • Free school

    A type of academy, either a new school set up in response to parental demand or a fee-paying school joining the state education system

  • Fresh Start

    A school is given a ‘Fresh Start’ when it is closed and reopened on the same site under the normal school reorganisation procedures. Schools eligible for Fresh Start must be in Special Measures, serious weaknesses, subject to a formal LA warning or (for secondary) achieving less than a 15% rate of pupils gaining at lest 5 A*-C GCSEs over three years from March 2000.

  • FS

    Functional Skills (see below)

  • FSA

    Food Standards Agency is an independent food safety watchdog set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public’s health and consumer interests in relation to food.

  • FSM

    Free school meals – pupils are eligible for FSM if their parents receive certain benefits

  • FTE

    Full time equivalent – refers to teachers’ employment.

  • FTET

    Full-Time Education and Training

  • Functional Skills

    Functional Skills (FS) are practical skills in English, Maths and ICT that help learners gain the most out of work, education and everyday life. Following a variety of pilots specifications, the intention is that a pass in the functional skills at level 2 will be a requirement for the awarding of the GCSE (English, mathematics and ICT) at grade C or above, when the revised GCSE qualifications are introduced in September 2010.

  • Funding agreement

    The document which sets out the relationship between an academy/MAT and the Education Funding Agency (EFA)/Department for Education (DfE)

  • GCE

    General Certificate of Education (A level)

  • GCSE

    General Certificate of Secondary Education

  • Gifted and talented

    Pupils identified as being likely to achieve more than expected national curriculum levels.

  • GIS

    Geographic Information System.  Used by Devon LA to show School Designated Area Maps.

  • GNVQ

    General National Vocational Qualification. GNVQs were phased out between 2005 and 2007. As an alternative, students can choose from a wide range of vocational qualifications – such as BTECs, OCR Nationals, and GCSEs and GCEs in applied subjects. There are also new vocational qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

  • GOLDline

    NGA’s expert legal and procedural advice service

  • Governing board

    Refers to the board of maintained schools (governing body) and academies/MATs (board of trustees)

  • Governing body

    Refers to the governing body of a maintained school only

  • Governor service

    May be ‘in-house’ in larger MATs but often externally commissioned, governor services provide essential support to the governing board which may be in the form of training, advice and clerking services. This has historically been offered by the local authority through a service level agreement. Academies and maintained schools are free to buy into their local authority’s governor services or seek alternative arrangements.

  • Governorline

    Governorline is the professional help line offering e-mail and telephone support across all aspects of school life to Governors, Clerks and individuals involved directly with school governance in England. Freephone 08000 722181. Contact Form

  • Governors’ handbook

    Departmental for Education advice outlining governors’ roles and duties.
    Governors’ handbook

  • Green Papers

    Green Papers are consultation documents produced by the Government. Often when a government department is considering introducing a new law, it will put together a discussion document called a Green Paper. The aim of this document is to allow people both inside and outside Parliament to debate the subject and give the department feedback on its suggestions.

  • GRT

    Gypsy, Roma, Traveller – pupil ethnicity

  • GTC

    The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) was the professional body for teaching in England between 2000 and 2012. The GTC was established by the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 which set two aims: “to contribute to improving standards of teaching and the quality of learning, and to maintain and improve standards of professional conduct among teachers, in the interests of the public”. The GTC was abolished on 31 March 2012.

  • Guide to the Law

    Guide to the Law has been replaced by the Governors’ Handbook (see above).

  • HE

    Higher Education

  • Headteacher Board

    Each Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) has a board of elected headteachers of academies in their area to advise on and scrutinise their decisions

  • HLTA

    Higher Level Teaching Assistant

  • HMCI

    Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools

  • HMI

    Her Majesty’s Inspector

  • HMRC

    Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs

  • Home School Agreements

    All state schools are required to have written agreements drawn up in consultation with parents. They are non-binding statements explaining the school’s aims and values, the responsibilities of both school and parents and what the school expects of its pupils. Parents will be invited to sign a parental declaration indicating that they understand and accept the contents of the agreement.

  • HSE

    Health and Safety Executive

  • HSW

    Health and Safety at Work

  • HT

    Head teacher

  • IAG

    Information, Advice and Guidance

  • IB

    International Baccalaureat

  • ICT

    Information and Communications Technology

  • IEP

    Individual Education Plan for pupils with special educational needs

  • IFP

    Increased Flexibility (for 14-16 year olds) Programme


    International GCSE

  • IiP

    Investors in People.  A quality standard awarded to organisations – including schools – demonstrating a commitment to developing employees.

  • IiWREL

    Investors in work Related and Enterprise Learning

  • Improvement Notice

    Ofsted judgement

  • Inclusion Statement

    A statutory statement in the national curriculum to provide effective learning opportunities for all pupils through the school curriculum. Teachers can modify (as necessary) the national curriculum programmes of study to set suitable learning challenges, respond to pupils’ diverse learning needs, and address potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.

  • Independent School

    Any school that provides full-time education for five or more pupils of compulsory school age, which is not maintained by an LA or a non-maintained special school. As these schools are not funded by the state, they obtain most of their finances from fees paid by parents and income from investments. Some of the larger independent schools are known as public schools, whilst most boarding schools are independent.

  • Information Commissioner

    The body set up to oversee and enforce the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.


    In-Service Education and Training – courses for practising teachers and other school staff

  • Instrument of Government

    The legal document setting out the composition of maintained school governing bodies

  • ISB

    Individual school budget

  • ISCG

    Information for School and College Governors exists to help governors and their clerks to do their best for their schools and everyone in them. The group provides governors with practical advice, independent and up-to-date information and relevant services.

  • ISR

    Individual School Range – refers to the HT pay range.

  • ITT

    Initial Teacher Training. See the Training and Development Agency for Schools website, for further details.


    Integrated Youth Support & Development Service

  • IYSS

    Integrated Youth Support Services

  • JMI

    Junior, Middle and Infant  For 4 to 11 year olds.

  • Joint Committees

    Governing Bodies may set up committees with shared membership between schools.

  • Joint Procurement

    Where schools collaborate in the procurement process.

  • Junior Schools

    For 7 to 11 year old pupils.

  • KS 1-4

    Key stages 1-4. The four stages of the national curriculum: KS1 for pupils aged 5-7; KS2 for 7-11; KS3 for 11-14; KS4 for 14-16. KS5 applies to 16-19 year-olds but is not part of the national curriculum

  • KS4EP

    Key Stage 4 Engagement Programme

  • LA

    Local authority – the LA has certain responsibilities regarding education, for example the educational achievement of looked-after children and for school places planning. It will also provide other services to schools,which may be provided via a service level agreement to maintained schools and in many cases academies

  • LA Governor

    Nominated by the LA but appointed by the governing body

  • LAC

    Looked after children – Children who are in care provision. May also refer to children who have been in care at any time in the last six years


    Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant – the funding academies receive to meet their additional responsibility

  • Learning link

    NGA Learning link is a comprehensive online training platform for governors and trustees on the full range of their responsibilities

  • LGA

    Local Government Association – national organisation supporting and representing local government

  • LGB

    Local governing body – a term often used to describe a committee of a trust board for an individual school within a MAT. See LGC, academy committee

  • LGC

    Local governing committee – a term often used to describe a committee of a trust board for an individual school within a MAT. See LGB,academy committee

  • Local association

    A group of governors and trustees from different schools in the local area. Local associations vary in size and capacity. The smallest local associations may offer an informal support network for local governors whereas larger local associations may organise useful local events and provide formal support and training opportunities

  • Maintained School

    Publicly funded schools overseen by the local authority. These schools must follow the national curriculum and national pay and conditions guidelines

  • MAT

    Multi academy trust – where two or more academies are governed by one trust ( the members) and a board of trustees (the trustees)

  • MAT board

    Common term for the board of trustees overseeing a multi academy trust

  • Mixed ability

    A teaching group in which children of all abilities are taught together

  • NAA

    National Assessment Agency was a subsidiary agency of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.  QCDA now has responsibility for national curriculum tests and ensuring the smooth delivery and modernization of the examinations system.

  • NAHT

    National Association of Head Teachers – a headteacher union


    National Association of School Business Managers


    National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers – a teaching union

  • National College

    National College for Teaching and Leadership – the organisation responsible for national training programmes for school leaders, aspiring school leaders and the development of leaders of Children’s Services. In particular, it is responsible for the National Professional Qualification fro Headship, the Chairs of Governors’ Leadership Development Programme and National Clerks’ Development Programme

  • National curriculum

    This was established by the 1988 Education Reform Act to ensure that all pupils receive a broad and balanced education, which is relevant to their needs. Academies do not need to follow the national curriculum, but many still choose to

  • National Schools Commissioner (NSA)

    A civil servant responsible for co-coordinating the work of the eight RSCs

  • NFER

    National Foundation for Educational Research

  • NGA

    National Governors’ Association. The national membership organisation for school governors

  • Non-teaching (support) staff

    Members of the school staff employed to provide services in a school, such as teaching assistants, cleaners and office staff

  • NOR

    Number on roll

  • NPQH

    National Professional Qualification for Headship – training for new or aspiring headteachers

  • NQT

    Newly Qualified Teacher

  • NUT

    National Union of Teachers – a teaching union

  • O4Me

    Options 4 Me helps students aged between 14 and 19 find information on all courses they can do in the Devon and Torbay area.

  • Ofqual

    Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Register – the regulator of examinations and qualifications

  • Ofsted

    Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills – the body which inspects education and training for learners of all ages and inspects and regulates care for children and young people

  • Open Enrolment

    All schools must admit pupils up to their standard number, which is calculated according to the physical capacity of the school to accommodate pupils.

  • Oversubscription Criteria

    Often referred to as those rules applied by admission authorities when a school has more applications than places. They must by law be fair and objective and must be published annually in prospectuses and by local authorities in a prospectus explaining admissions at all schools in an area.

  • PAN

    Published Admission Number – the number of children the LA (or governing board of a foundation or voluntary aided school or academy trust) determines must be admitted to any one year group in the school

  • Parent governor/trustee

    Member of the governing board elected by the parents of the school’s pupils

  • Partnership governor

    In schools with religious character these governors must be appointed with the purpose of preserving and promoting the religious ethos

  • PE and sports premium

    Funding for years 1 to 6 to provide additional PE and sport beyond that already provided in the curriculum

  • Peripatetic teacher

    One who teaches in a number of schools, to give specialist instruction, e.g. in music

  • PFI

    Private Finance Initiative – enables local authorities to enter into contracts with the private sector for the provision of new and/or improved capital assets (infrastructure for example) and related services

  • PGCE

    Post-Graduate Certificate of Education

  • PGR

    Parent Governor Representative – elected to serve on a local authority committee discharging the education functions of the LA

  • PI

    Performance Indicators (sometimes called key performance indicators). Used to evaluate the success of a school or of a particular activity in which it engages

  • PPA

    Planning, Preparation and Assessment – 10% guaranteed non-contact time for teachers

  • Progress 8

    A headline measure of school performance at GCSE introduced from 2016. It aims to capture the progress a pupil makes from the end of KS2 to the end of KS4

  • PRP

    Performance Related Pay – schools following the STCPD must now ensure teachers’ pay is linked to their performance

  • PRU

    Pupil Referral Unit – alternative education provision for pupils unable to attend mainstream school or special school

  • PSP

    Pastoral Support Programme for pupils at serious risk of permanent exclusion

  • PTA

    Parent Teacher Association – or PSA (Parent Staff Association)

  • PTA UK

    National membership organisation for parent teacher associations – formerly NCPTA

  • PTR

    Pupil/Teacher Ratio – this is calculated by dividing the number of pupils in a school by the number of full-time equivalent teachers

  • Public Sector Equality Duty

    decisions affect people who are protected under the Equality Act 2010

  • Pupil Premium

    Funding allocated to schools to support pupils eligible for FSM, in care, or who have parents in the armed forces

  • Pupil profile

    Broad evaluation of pupil’s personality, interests and capabilities – this forms part of the pupil’s Records of Achievement

  • QCA

    Qualifications and Curriculum Authority  See

  • QIA

    Quality Improvement Agency

  • QTS

    Qualified Teacher Status.

  • Quorate

    A meeting is quorate if a sufficient number of members are present. Decisions can only be ratified if a meeting is quorate

  • Quorum

    The minimum number of members present at a meeting before decisions can be made

  • RAISEonline

    Reporting and Analysis for Improvement through School Self – Evaluation is the web-based system to disseminate school performance data to schools (service closes on 31 July 2017 – see Analyse School Performance (ASP) service replacement to RAISEonline)

  • Regional School Commissioners (RSCs)

    Civil servants that act on behalf of the Secretary of State. Their responsibilities include intervening in under preforming academies and free schools, making decisions on conversion to academy status, and encouraging and deciding on applications for academy sponsors. There are eight RSCs serving different regions, reporting to the Schools Commissioner.

  • Resolution

    A formal decision which has been proposed, seconded and agreed – not necessarily by a vote – at a meeting

  • Revenue funding

    Revenue funding can be spent to provide services and buy items that will be used within a year. Examples include salaries, heating, lighting, services and small items of equipment

  • ROA

    Record of Achievement


    Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education – Local statutory body which advises on religious education and collective worship.

  • SATs

    Standard Assessment Tasks – used for national curriculum assessment

  • Scheme of delegation

    A document defining the lines of responsibility and accountability in a MAT, sometimes referred to as a Roles and Responsibilities document

  • School business manager

    A professional employed by a school with reponsibility for financial management and often other areas such as human resources and health and safety management. Usually part of the senior leadership team

  • School census

    A statutory return which takes place during the autumn, spring and summer terms. Maintained schools and academies should take part in the census

  • School development plan

    The operational document describing how the school will work towards the strategic priorities set by the governing board

  • Schools Forum

    A Schools Forum has been established in each LA area to advise on the allocation of the funding for schools – the majority of places on this board should be filled by governors and headteachers, preferably in equal numbers

  • Secondment

    The release of staff on a temporary basis for work elsewhere

  • Secretary of State for Education

    The senior government minister with responsibility for education. Leads the Department for Education


    SEN Co-ordinator – the teacher responsible for co-ordinating SEND provision in the school

  • SEND

    Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – learning difficulties for which special educational provision has to be made


    Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal

  • Senior Executive Leader

    (SEL) – academy trusts must appoint a senior executive leader (who may be known as the principal in a single academy trust, or CEO in a MAT, or Equivalent) as the accounting officer (AO) for the trust

  • Service level agreement

    A contract between a service provider (the local authority or another private sector provider) and a school that defines the level of service expected from the service provider

  • Service premium

    Funding allocated to schools to support pupils whose parents are serving in HM armed forces, or have at any time since 2011, or who are in recipient of a child’s pension from the ministry of defence

  • Setting

    A System of organising pupils into ability groups for particular subjects

  • SFVS

    Schools Financial Value Standard – a means for the governing board to assess its financial processes, capabilities and skills

  • Short inspection

    A one day Ofsted inspection carried out at ‘good’ schools (or special schools, nurseries, and PRUs judged ‘outstanding’)

  • SIMS

    Schools Information and Management System – a computer package to assist schools in managing information on pupils, staff and resources, provided by Capita

  • Special school

    Pupils with a statement of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or an education, health or care plan, whose needs cannot be fully met for within mainstream provision

  • Special Unit (or Resourced Provision)

    A unit attached to a mainstream school to cater for children with specific special needs

  • Sponsor

    An organisation or person who has received approval from the DfE to support an underperforming academy or group of academies. Examples of sponsor include academies, businesses or charities

  • SSAT

    Specialist Schools and Academies Trust

  • Staff governor/trustee

    Elected by those who are paid to work at the school

  • Statementing

    Officially assessing a child as having special educational needs. In 2014 this procedure was replaced by education, health and care plans


    School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document – an annually published document which forms a part of the contract of all teachers and headteachers in maintained schools in England and Wales. Many Academies will also follow the STPCD

  • Strategic plan

    The school’s strategic document which sets out a small number of key priorities for the school over the next 3-5 years. The governing board should take the lead on developing the strategic plan

  • STRB

    School Teachers’ Review Body – makes recommendations to the Secretary of State on teachers’ pay

  • Streaming

    Placing pupils in classes according to their ability across a range of subjects

  • TA

    Teaching Assistant

  • Teaching school alliances

    Led by teaching schools and include schools that are benefiting from support as well as strategic partners

  • Teaching schools

    Schools that work with others to provide CPD for school staff

  • Terms of reference

    The scope and limitations of a committee’s activity or area of knowledge

  • TLR

    Teaching and Learning Responsibility – payments made to teachers for an additional responsibiliy

  • Trust Deed

    The deed by which a voluntary aided or a voluntary controlled school has be established

  • Trustee board

    The governing board of a single academy trust or MAT

  • UCAS

    Universities and Colleges Admissions Service — central agency for processing applications for undergraduate courses including degree level initial teacher training courses (BEd, BA/BSc with qualified teacher status).

  • Unauthorised Absence

    Absence by a pupil from school which is not otherwise authorised.  Statistical information about such absences must be given to Governors.


    Union of Public Employees. Many school support staff will be members of this union

  • UPS

    Upper Pay Scale

  • VA

    Voluntary Aided – A school set up and owned by a voluntary board, usually a church board,largely financed by the LA. The governing board employs the staff and controls pupils admissions and religious education. The school’s buildings and land (apart from playing fields) will normally be owned by a charitable foundation. VA schools set their own admissions criteria in line with the admissions code.

  • Value Added (VA)

    The progress schools help pupils make relative to their individual starting points – rather than looking at raw results VA also takes into account the prior attainment, thus enabling a judgement to be made about the effect of the school on pupils’ current attainment

  • VC

    Voluntary Controlled: usually a denominational school wholly maintained but with a certain residual rights regarding religious worship

  • Vertical grouping

    Classes formed ( in primary schools) with children of different age groups

  • Virement

    The agreed transfer of money from the budget heading to which it has been allocated to another budget heading

  • Virtual school headteacher

    Looked after children are on a virtual school roll, and each local authority will employ an experienced teacher to oversee educational progress of all children under the care of that particular LA. The virtual school headteacher will have specialist knowledge to provide extra support to designated teachers. They will also work with professionals in the Children’s Services department of the council and with all schools in the area to promote the education of children in care

  • Vision

    The school’s vision should, in a few sentences, describe what the school will look like in three to five years’ time

  • Vocational

    A subject that would not be considered academic in the traditional sense. Students in key stage 4 and key stage 5 may undertake a vocational apprenticeship or qualification as a visible alternative to GCSEs or A levels


    A teaching union

  • Walking Distance

    The statutory distance beyond which the LA must provide free school transport is 2 miles for children up to 8 years and 3 miles for those aged 8+.  There is an annual consultation on such matters, and Governors are encouraged to prompt parents to contribute to such consultations.

  • WBL

    Work-Based Learning

  • Work experience

    A planned programme as part of careers education, which enables pupils to sample experience of a working environment of their choice in school time

  • Workforce Reform

    A Government initiative to raise standards and tackle the workload of teaching staff.

  • WRL

    Work-Related Learning

  • X
  • YA

    Young Apprenticeships

  • Years 1 to 13

    Fifth and sixth formers no longer officially exist in the state sector.
    Reception year = 4-5 year olds; Y1 = 5-6; Y2 = 6-7; Y3 = 7-8; Y4 = 8-9; Y5 = 9-10; Y6 = 10-11; Y7 = 11-12; Y8 = 12-13; Y9 = 13-14; Y10 = 14-15; Y11 = 15-16; Y12 = 16-17 ; Y13 = 17-18.

  • YPLA

    Young People’s Learning Agency

  • Zero tolerance policy

    A policy that states that prohibited behaviors and actions will not be tolerated–no exeptions.

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